3. First aid facilities

Determining numbers and locations of first aid kits

First aid kits should be located close to all work areas where there is a likely risk of injuries or illness occurring. No workstation should be more than 100 metres from or one floor above or below a kit.

First aid kits should be:

  • easily accessible during the normal work hours of the area;
  • located in supervised areas-to reduce opportunities for pilfering as kits should not be locked during normal work hours (although they must be capable of being locked);
  • located if possible close to running water, toilets and a private area that can be used for treatment; and
  • clearly visible and signposted with a standard safety sign consisting of a white cross on a green background.

In many buildings a large central kit can be complimented with smaller portable kits that can easily be taken to the place where a person is injured. Portable kits may be kept at a NFAO’s work location.

Factors to be considered in determining the number and locations of first aid kits for a particular building include:

  • the types of work performed and the types of classes conducted in the building and the nature of hazards associated with those types of work and classes – laboratories and workshops typically require more frequent access to a first aid kit than office areas with mainly sedentary activities.
  • the typical number and type of occupants of the building, for example, staff, students, visitors, general public – more densely occupied buildings may need a higher concentration of kits; buildings with public areas may need additional kits close to those public areas.
  • the physical size and layout of the building - large and or complex buildings may need additional coverage for areas of higher need such as laboratories and workshops, for any secure facilities with restricted access and to ensure adequate proximity of kits to all parts of the building.
  • the typical operating hours of the building – libraries and other areas operating outside normal daytime weekday hours may need their own kits accessible during their operational hours.

Every University vehicle used for field trips must be equipped with a first aid kit. The type of kit required will depend on the type of work associated with the vehicle use.

When work is done away from a building a portable kit suitable for the type of work activities and remoteness of the work location should be provided, e.g. for Environmental Studies. (Also see Field Trips).

First aid kit types and contents

The type and size of the First Aid Kit depends on the number of people to be served by the kit and the types of activities conducted in the area:

  • Size A kits are suitable for areas used by large numbers (>100) of people;
  • Size B kits are suitable for areas used by between 10 and 100 people; and
  • Size C kits are suitable for areas where fewer than 10 people work, which may include University vehicles.

For large buildings with large numbers of occupants, several B size kits spread around the building may provide better access to kits than one A size kit in a central location.

The contents of first aid kits are determined in accordance with risk management and may contain additional first aid items, such as additional bandages, disposable gloves and disposable resuscitation masks. Medications, such as headache tablets or burn creams, must not be kept in first aid kits as first aiders are usually not qualified to safely administer them. Staff and students are advised to provide their own headache and other pain relief tablet, which they should expect to self-administer.

To prevent possible cross-infection First Aid Kits must not contain creams, lotions or other preparations, the sterility of which cannot be maintained e.g. antiseptic creams. Items such as normal saline should only be of single-use types.

Care must be taken when purchasing First Aid Kits to ensure that only kits complying with the requirements of the First Aid Code of Practice are purchased. First Aid Kits must be of sturdy waterproof construction, but need not be rigid metal or plastic boxes.

Maintenance of first aid kits

It is the responsibility of the NFAOs to ensure kits are kept clean, tidy and stocked. This includes replacing items such as sterile saline ampoules before their expiry dates.

An NFAO may be responsible for the maintenance for more than one kit in a building. Where there are multiple First Aid Kits and multiple NFAOs in a building, the NFAOs must share the kit maintenance responsibilities.

Funding for replacement of consumable items and kits is currently the responsibility of the unit which services the kit.

Information about suppliers of kits and replacement items will be updated from time to time by USQSafe.

Determining where first aid rooms are required

Under the Queensland First Aid Code of Practice 2004, a First Aid Room is required at a workplace where more than 200 persons work. For campuses with more than 200 regular workers a First Aid Room is a requirement. In the University context First Aid Rooms should also be provided irrespective of occupant numbers if a risk assessment indicates there is a need.

A First Aid Room may be needed on campuses without on-campus medical facilities and/or where ambulance services are likely to take more than five minutes to respond.

The need for a First Aid Room on the campus/site should be determined in consultation with staff most likely to be impacted by the decisions, for example those involved in higher risk activities or working more remotely from emergency services.

Responsibility for first aid room

Under the Queensland First Aid Code of Practice 2004, a First Aid Room must be under the supervision of a suitably qualified first aider. The minimum qualification is an Occupational First Aid Certificate.

First aid room requirements

First Aid Rooms must be accessible during working hours and not used for any other purpose except first aid or workplace health. They must be under the supervision of a qualified Occupational First Aider or equivalent.

First Aid Rooms must be situated close to toilets and a sink or basin with hot and cold water and have access to a means for boiling water.

They must be well lit and well ventilated, and have a wide enough door for entry and exit of a person on a stretcher.

First Aid Rooms must contain items listed in Appendix 2 and must not contain items unrelated to first aid. They must have the equivalent contents of an A size First Aid Kit in the room and a B size portable First Aid Kit for outside.

Other rooms

Some buildings in the University have rooms that are used for injured or ill people to rest in. These rooms do not meet the full requirements to be classed as First Aid Rooms, and must not be labelled as First Aid Rooms. These rooms should be well lit, well ventilated, close to running water and contain a couch for people to lie down on. The room should be under the care of a NFAO and monitored when in use. These rooms should be locked when not in use so that unwell persons cannot use them without an NFAO or alternate member of staff being alerted.

Resuscitation equipment

Oxy-viva equipment and Automated External Defibrillators (AED) will be provided at the University. Fully staffed medical centres may wish to maintain Oxy-viva equipment. First Aid Rooms under the control of the Occupational First Aider may maintain air-viva facilities and AEDs if resuscitation equipment is needed.

All First Aid Kits must contain disposable resuscitation masks to protect those conducting mouth-to-mouth resuscitation from infection risks.

Specialist first aid arrangements for specific hazards

Clinics, laboratories and workshops with particular first aid needs arising out of specific work activities are responsible for meeting these additional first aid needs and cannot rely on the basic first aid service of Nominated First Aid Officers appointed in the building. This includes responsibility for the provision of and capacity to administer antidotes for exposure to specific hazardous substances. See Research Laboratories, Clinics and Workshops.